One of the creatures that a lot of people fear are bats. Even worse, are giant bats. And I mean BIG. They take different shapes and have different behaviors–but are all more or less scary!
This cunning predator is found in rural and wilderness areas, and is almost always encountered while hunting at night. It will eat carrion, but prefers to eat living prey. Night Hunter packs, or “swoops,” have been known to eat humans as well as livestock, but they usually attack smaller prey, swooping to bite, rake with their wing claws, and slash with their dexterous, triangular-shaped, razor sharp tails.
Night Hunters have infravision, and often stalk their prey by flying low and dodging in between trees, behind hillocks and ridges, in order to attack by ambush. They rarely surprise opponents, however, because they emit a weird, echoing, loon-like keening when excited.
Night Hunters fly alone or in groups of up to a dozen in number when hunting, but a lair typically contains more creatures, perhaps several hunting groups–up to thirty overall. Night Hunter lairs are usually tall trees in deep woods (where sleeping Night Hunters roost head down from branches, like many of their smaller kin) or in caves. Such lairs may contain treasure fallen from prey that has been carried there, for night hunters will not eat where they feel endangered.
Night Hunters weigh from 150-250 kg. with a wingspan of up to 2 meters. They attack with a bite for 1d-1 crushing damage, raking with claws for 1d-2 damage, and stabbing with their tail for 1d+1 impaling damage. They can attack with only 1 of these types on any single turn. They have a speed of 2 on the ground and 20 in the air. They have a hide that absorbs 1 hit of damage.
Night Hunters have ST 18-20, DX 14, IQ 5.
Azimuths are rare, strange bats that live on flowers, small plants, and insects. They are solitary wanderers, although they do have favorite haunts to which they often return. Sometimes they do form lasting relationships with larger beings of other races, such as elves and humans for mutual benefit, sometimes establishing loyal friendships for life.
Azimuths have been known to accompany creatures for their entire lives, and then accompany their offspring. The lifespan and mating habits of azimuths are unknown. They are not familiars, as wizards understand the term, but more of a loyal companion. No direct control can be exerted over them except by magical means.
Azimuths have a limited form of telepathy, but can only communicate with others of their kind. They emit squeaks when alarmed or enraged, and endearing, liquid chuckles when delighted or amused. They also have infravision.
The jaws of azimuths only do 1 hit of crushing damage, but in a fight they will also stab for 1d-2 of impaling damage with their tail. An azimuth will fight if forced, but prefers to avoid direct conflict and employ its spell-like powers from afar.
Azimuths can cast an Aura spell of skill level 14 and an Invisibility spell on themselves at an IQ level of 11. Also, they can cast a form of lightning up to 5 yards away doing 1d-1 points of electrical damage.
Azimuths are relatively small, with a wingspan of only 1 meter, and weigh between 40-50 kg. They have a speed of 6 on the ground and 30 in the air. Their hide provides 1 hit of protection.
Azimuths have ST 12-14, DX 15, IQ 7.
Gloomwings are feared, fey creatures who are thought to serve dark powers as messengers, steeds, and spies. They hunt by day and night, and speak their own language as well as the Dark Tongue in a hissing, rasping voice. They posses infravision as well as normal sight, and use a form of Dark Vision which they use to see through the Darkness spell they can create around themselves at will. Other forms of magical darkness, not created by themselves, will render Gloomwings blind as other creatures. Gloomwings use this power as a smokescreen to evade enemies, to dodge and foil missile fire, and to avoid detection when hunting on moonlit nights.
The most feared weapon of the Gloomwing, though, is its chilling bite. In addition to doing 1d+1 crushing damage, the bite injects a venom into the victim that has the following effects: If the victim’s ST is less than 11, the victim is affected by a powerful Sleep spell, saving at ST-3. He cannot be awakened for 2d minutes. If the victim’s ST is 11+, the victim is affected as per the Daze spell, saving at ST-1. Any victim can only be affected by any of these results once in a 24 hour period. After a bite hits and takes effect, all subsequent bites by a Gloomwing have no effect, other than the normal bite damage. Gloomwings are immune to the venom of their own bites and the bites of other Gloomwings.
Gloomwings also have the ability to cast the Fear spell at IQ level of 12. This takes the form of looking into the victims eyes and mesmerizing them. Even if no eye contact is made, the victims still get the impression of lurking fear.
Gloomwings hoard treasure for use in bribing or purchasing the services of lesser creatures. This treasure they conceal in caves, cliff top eyries, or ruins where they lair, typically cunningly concealed and trapped to prevent theft. Gloomwings are carnivores and will eat any creature they can overcome–but will never eat carrion.
These creatures grow to a wingspan of up to 3 meters, and weigh 200-300 kg. They have a speed of 4 on the ground and 28 in the air. They attack by biting for 1d+1 crushing damage, and with a damage resistance of 1.
Gloomings have ST 20-26, DX 13, IQ 7.
These mysterious creature are known for their magical powers and their unnerving appearance–a natural ability to levitate allows them to hang motionless in midair, usually in a woodland glade or sheltered valley. Because of this, and their jet black, gaunt bodies, they have become known as Sinisters, even though they are not evil. Sinisters prefer to hunt at night, when their infravision is most effective. They are omnivorous, but will eat carrion if no other food is available.
Sinisters are both resistant to magic and adept in its use. In addition to their ability to levitate (which allows them to maneuver with pinpoint accuracy) Sinisters are protected by an energy field that is equivalent to a +4 magic resistance. Sinisters also cause a form of the Daze spell, casting it will a IQ level of 12. They use this in hunting prey and to escape or overcome more powerful creatures.
Curiously, although they are always silent, communicating with other Sinisters with a limited form of telepathy, Sinisters love music, both song and instrumental works. Many a solitary harper or bard making music at a campfire in the wilderlands has found himself surrounded by a silent circle of Sinisters. Unless such musicians directly attack the Sinisters, the creatures will not molest them in any way. They may follow the source of the music, gathering night after night in greater numbers to form a rather daunting audience.
Sinisters grow to weigh 200-300 kg. and with a 3m wingspan. They attack by biting for 1d of crushing damage. They also have a speed of 2 on the ground and 30 in the air, with natural armor of 1 hit.
Sinisters have ST 18-22, DX 14, IQ 6.
These bats are based on some found in an old article of Dragon Magazine.